-Who doesn't like to party, is the question. Well, besides Chris Pronger.
-I was thinking of the areas where the Kings would miss Jack Johnson and... uh...
Wait, I got one!
Johnson wasn't a regular on the penalty kill, but he did play whenever one of the main 4 defenders (Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene, Rob Scuderi, Drew Doughty) were one of the guys in the box. Since Matt Greene's an oaf and Drew Doughty's kind of a dumbass, it actually ended up being quite a bit. Johnson played a total of about 86 minutes on the penalty kill and those minutes are going to have to be made up somewhere. I imagine a lot of it will be made by the guys already on the penalty kill playing even more, but eventually the Kings are going to need one of Slava Voynov or Alec Martinez to play when they're a man down. Or, and this is probably more likely, we might start seeing Davis Drewiske in the line-up a little more at Martinez's expense.
(If you're thinking we're going to miss Johnson on the power play: I actually think we'll be OK. Mike Richards has been on the point with the first team anyway so I think Voynov will take Johnson's spot along with Willie Mitchell on the 2nd unit. I wish they'd try Martinez-Voynov but I don't think Sutter will let 2 young guys out there at the same time.)
-Another thing the Kings might want to look at now that Johnson's gone: reuniting Willie Mitchell & Drew Doughty. Mitchell was Johnson's safety net for most of this year, but as a result the Kings haven't been getting him in those tough defensive situations where he's really useful. Instead, the Kings have been using Rob Scuderi, which is fine, but Mitchell's better and should be in that spot. I think maybe they're worried about having 2 guys who aren't that strong in front of the net together in Voynov-Scuderi, but I think they're positionally smart enough that they could make it work.
My brother also pointed out that Scuderi has been getting a lot of opportunities to shoot since people are blanketing Doughty and, well, Scuderi sucks at shooting. Getting someone like Mitchell those opportunities would help the team a lot.
-The top-six is as follows:
That looks pretty good to me. Brown-Kopitar-Williams didn't produce anything in their last 3 games but before that they had potted at least one goal in like 13 straight or something. Brown has been sick but hopefully he's feeling better and is ready to go. If he's not then he might get traded OHMIGOD.
The 2nd line is glorious. Richards seems to have picked his play up of late and is the puck carrier and set-up man. Carter is their to patrol the slot and look for a shot. And King is there to hold onto the puck for approximately .3 seconds before giving it to either Richards or Carter. I think that line will work pretty well.
-Try not to fuck up tonight, Penner.
-Jonathan Toews is a bad driver.
Prediction: Kings win, 4-2. Goals by Carter, Richards, Doughty & Voynov.